StorageTek Plans New Disk Systems, Software

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StorageTek will add another wrinkle to its information lifecycle management (ILM) strategy on Tuesday by rebranding its storage systems and software to address data protection issues and problems.

At the StorageTek Forum 2004 in San Antonio, the company will rename its key disk storage family FlexLine to reflect a unified approach toward helping customers better protect and manage data from its creation until its disposal.

The Louisville, Colo., concern, jockeying for position with IBM, EMC and HP in the ILM space, also plans a new virtual tape system.

In a briefing before the event, Jay Seifert, senior manager of product marketing in StorageTek’s ILM Solutions Group, said FlexLine gives customers a safe way to store, manage and retrieve files such as e-mail, photos, spreadsheets and other unstructured information.

V-Series disk systems will become FlexLine V-Series storage systems, which are distinguished by virtual mainframe technology that handles heavyweight applications such as enterprise resource planning or customer relationship management.

D-Series and B-Series storage systems will be rebranded as FlexLine 200 Series and 300 Series storage systems. These systems are modular and are built to handle many transactions for markets such as financial services.

Seifert said the new offerings, such as the 2 gigabit-per-second FLA300 disk array and FLX210 storage system, have been created to help customers corral data in a cost-effective way.

The FLA300 and FLX210 are fitted with asynchronous disk-to-disk mirroring that lets organizations replicate data from afar and reduce the chance of data loss in case of a disaster or outage. Targeted for smaller businesses, the FLX210 supports up to 14 SATA disk drives internally and scales to 112 SATA disk drives in total.

The systems are powered by the company’s SANtricity 9.1 software, which helps customers mix Fibre Channel and ATA arrays in the same subsystem. The software and new systems will be available Tuesday, with the FLA300 offered at $15,000 and the FLX210 priced at $10,000.

Seifert also said the FlexLine 600 Series systems will be unveiled at the Forum as a major extension to the company’s BladeStore family. The system is based on an intelligent storage processor and boasts a new blade design, using less expensive SATA drives that scale in increments of 500 gigabytes for granular growth.

The entry point to the FLX600 is 3 terabytes. The system will be available in the first half of 2005, with pricing to be announced at that time.

StorageTek Gets Virtual

On the software side, virtualization has been high on just about every storage vendor’s priority list. EMC, Hitachi Data Systems and IBM have all taken steps to fortify their products with technology that allows multiple incarnations of an operating system to be managed as one through a single console.

Russ Kennedy, director of software product management in the ILM Solutions Group at StorageTek, said officials will provide a sneak peek at its Virtual Storage Manager (VSM) Open Solution, a virtual tape library geared toward data backup, recovery and protection.

Based on the FlexLine 600 architecture, VSM Open is a disk-based virtual tape library optimized for open systems backup and recovery. Armed with a single interface, the software allows IT managers to share backup and restore resources across many backup servers and multiple applications.

The product’s virtualization features let IT managers boost the number of available tape drives and eliminate errors so they do not affect the tape applications. The company will offer it in a four terabyte configuration that can scale up to 44 terabytes with as much as 600 megabytes per second of data throughput for speedy data transfer.

The software can support three million virtual tape volumes and has a total of four Fibre Channel ports. Availability is scheduled for the first half of 2005, with pricing to be announced then.

Article courtesy of

Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

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